At the Intersection of Strange and Wonderful click here Let’s play a game. I’m going to give you a couple of words, and I want you to create a picture of each word in your mind. Ready? First word:  vacuum. Okay. Now that’s a bit hard, because a vacuum is the absence of anything. So our minds will often generate an image of an empty jar, outer space, or in my case, Britney Spears. (Just a joke, Britney… just a joke.)

Okay, so here’s the next word:  intersection. What picture does it create in your mind? Chances are good you’re imagining an intersection of two roads where we’d find a traffic light or stop signs. And that’s exactly what I want you to imagine. But I’d like you to focus on a limited portion of that image if you will. I’d like you to focus on the square of concrete where the two roads actually cross each other. That is the true intersection. It’s not the stop light or stop signs, curbs or streetlights. The intersection is specifically where two roads meet and share common space.

That’s the intersection I want to visualize. The area shared by two roads.

The one thing these two roads have in common is each other. Without that common space, roads can only run parallel or diverge from one another.

Most all successful organizations have a clearly defined mission statement or purpose for existence. In the best of them, that purpose is posted on walls throughout the organization. Individuals, while rarely having a stated purpose for their lives, have a good sense of what is important to them, and how they can best utilize their skills in this world.

Organizations travel their own roads; individuals travel others. But the surprising secret to progress is found at intersections in which the two co-mingle.

watch Where purposes, skills, drives and values of the individual meet with the purpose and values of the organization, we find a strange and wonderful place. There, at our new intersection, rather than congested traffic, angry drivers and fender benders, we find a sort of productive tranquility in which are discovered the goals and objectives that uniquely serve both entities.

“I love my job because I get to…” It’s a great place to work because we all work together for…” “It’s almost not like work at all.” It’s the intersection called Employee Engagement. It’s the intersection at which the organization stops saying, “Here. Do this for me.”, and starts asking, “How can we achieve this together?”

What a simple concept.

What powerful results.

As you travel your road, why not consider this new perspective at every intersection you cross? Think of the people with whom you work and the purpose of the organization. For each individual, ask yourself, “Given the freedom, how might this person choose to advance our cause?”

Then go ask ’em.

My guess is they’ll know better than you.


This entry was posted in 3. The Power of Capacity, 4. The Power of Relationship and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to At the Intersection of Strange and Wonderful

  1. Judy deBoer says:

    Too many of us are using the overpasses…

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